One of our clients called me last week and asked what I thought of double-drawer dishwashers. My answer to him was that it is a “lifestyle” appliance.
The lifestyle the double-drawer dishwasher fits is a household that has one or two people living in it. If your lifestyle fits a double-drawer dishwasher, it is a time-saving device. If your lifestyle doesn’t fit the double-drawer dishwasher, it will be a continuous source of frustration for you. You are going to either love it or hate it.
These dishwashers have two drawers that work independently of one another. The greatness of this feature is that one drawer can be for accumulating dirty dishes while the other one holds the clean ones from the last cleaning. Theoretically, this eliminates the household chore of unloading the dishwasher. You would simply rotate your use of the clean and dirty dishes—leaving them in the drawers—saving the time of unloading the dishes into the cabinets.
The problem is the lack of capacity. You can only load half as many—or fewer—dishes as you can in a standard dishwasher. If you are feeding a family of four or more, you aren’t going to be happy when all your dishes won’t fit in one load. You will also find that big platters and pans might not fit. Another downside is the cost. The double-drawer dishwasher can cost two to three times a conventional one. Deciding if the cost is worth the convenience is a personal choice.
I see a lot of dishwashers fail early and not function well. Many times, the subtle ways they are used make the difference. Here are a few tips to extend the life of your dishwasher and help it perform better:
- Use it at least once a week. It’s not good for a dishwasher to sit unused; the rubber seals and gaskets will dry rot causing the unit to leak and sink.
- Don’t use chlorinated dishwasher soap, which is often found in gel soaps. The chlorine can cause the components of the dishwasher to disintegrate over time.
- Clean the filters regularly. They are usually located at the bottom of the appliance. These filters catch excess food and can become clogged, which can wear down the lifespan of your machine. Check and clean the filters regularly, at least once per week.
- Use hot, not warm water. If you’re able to select a temperature option, make sure you’re running your dishwasher on maximum heat. Cleaning dishes at less than 125 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to a greater chance of detergent residue building up in the appliance over time. The faster detergent residue builds up, the shorter the lifespan the appliance has. If you have delicate dishes that need cooler water (delicate cycle), just wash them by hand instead.
- If your dishwasher is over 10 years old, get a new one. You’ll save money on energy and water, and possibly cleaning up a big water mess if it fails.
If you want to learn more about dishwashers contact Kirk at Builders Supply.